Australia’s embarrassment as Taiwan leaps ahead on marriage equality

Australia is dragging its heels on marriage equality, as Taiwan has taken a step closer to becoming the first in Asia to legalise marriage for everyone.

Progress in Australia has stalled since the bipartisan show of support for change during a senate committee enquiry in February. Amnesty International is urging the Parliament to legislate for marriage equality before the parliamentary Winter break.

“Let’s warm hearts this Winter by legislating for equal love,” said Lizzi Price, convenor of Amnesty International Australia’s LGBTQI group.

“Most sides of Australian politics want to see marriage equality. Politicians can’t let Australia fall even further behind internationally. It’s time they do their jobs, bring a vote to parliament and vote Yes.”

“The commitment and love that come with marriage must be a right for everyone.”

Taiwan ruling to resonate across Asia

Judges in Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday that the country’s current marriage law is unconstitutional as it discriminates against same-sex couples. The judges have given lawmakers two years to amend or enact relevant laws.

“The judges have said yes to marriage equality. This is a huge step forward for LGBTI rights in Taiwan and will resonate across Asia,” said Lisa Tassi, East Asia Campaigns Director at Amnesty International.

“Lawmakers must act swiftly to ensure Taiwan becomes the first in Asia to make genuine marriage equality a reality.”

Everyone entitled to equal protection under the law

A draft bill on marriage equality is currently being considered by Taiwan’s legislature. Amnesty International urges lawmakers to legalise marriage equality in Taiwan, on the same basis and with the same rights as marriage between couples of different sex.

“As this week’s ruling makes clear, whoever you love, everyone is entitled to the same human rights and equal protection under the law,” said Lisa Tassi.